Solar panels of various types installed at an angle, capturing sunlight with a gradient of warm hues reflecting off the surfaces.

Which type of solar panel is best?

Investing in solar is a big decision, whether it’s for your home or business. It can take a while to look at the pros and cons, weigh them against your current source of energy and then agree to making the investment. But once you decide it’s time to switch to renewable, the decisions don’t stop there. The next thing to think about is the type of solar panels that you need. 

At SCA Solar, we make it our mission to make these decisions as easy as possible for our customers – by giving them the facts up front. Here we’re going to take a look at the different types of solar panels, and what they mean for your home/business. 

Types of solar panels 

1. Monocrystalline solar panels 

Out of all of the solar panel types, these are the highest efficiency. They generally have a dark aesthetic and round edges. Due to the high efficiency, these types of solar panels tend to be utilised by commercial buildings, although the choice, of course, is up to you. 

Monocrystalline solar panels are (unsurprisingly) made from monocrystalline silicon. This is the purest type of silicon out of all of the solar panels and means efficiency rates are around the 20% mark. 

These solar panels are also longer-lasting and take up less room on your roof/chosen destination. But due to the high quality material and efficiency benefits, they also tend to be the most expensive. 

2. Polycrystalline solar panels 

Polycrystalline is the next most efficient type of solar panel at around 15% efficiency. These panels are normally blue, slightly speckled and are displayed in squares. The material used is raw silicon, rather than monocrystalline. The process of using raw silicon is faster and more budget-friendly than monocrystalline, hence why polycrystalline solar panels are cheaper. 

These panels will normally have a slightly shorter lifespan due to being affected by hot temperatures a little more. However, all in all, the lifespan is still pretty impressive. 

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are quite similar overall, and your choice should be based around your own unique circumstances. 

3. Thin-film solar panels 

Out of the main three types of solar panels, thin-film solar panels come in as the most budget-friendly. However that also means that they’re the least efficient at around 7-10%. A number of materials could be used to make these types of solar panels including silicon and copper, and for this reason, they tend to be the easiest and cheapest to manufacture. 

Thin-film solar panels are also less affected by the heat and much more portable due to how lightweight they are. However, they do take up more space than other types of solar panels, sometimes meaning they aren’t the best fit for residential homes. 


Making the final decision on which type of solar panel you’re going to choose is tricky, and we don’t expect you to do it alone. We have almost ten years of experience installing professional solar panels in and around Cheshire, and we’d love to help with your project (whether it’s home or business-based!) 

If you have any questions about solar, or you’re trying to decide which type of panel to choose, get in touch with one of our team and we’ll be more than happy to help. 

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